Well, I'm glad that's over but never underestimate the value of a disciplined time of restricting food intake and cleaning out yr body a bit. I had to keep reminding myself to "get over it, food is not everything!" but that's not to say there wasn't still a little cheating. And do you know why - HABIT! I didn't actually search out food when I was hungry, it was just natural to pick at something when I was cooking, and when I was baking. I wasn't even THINKING, I just did it - and then I kicked myself. DOH!
Started last night (Saturday) as I just feel so bloated and abnormal after getting back from holidays. I didn't feel hungry so decided to officially start my fast then & there. Drank nice tall glasses of lemon water. This morning I religiously made my juice and while clenching my fists so tight they cramped, I refused my husband's offer of coffee. Took the opportunity to explain that I would need a little help in staying strong for the next couple of days, and he readily agreed.
Off to the markets for inspiration and stocked up on plenty of bananas, avocadoes, pineapple, celery, baby spinach leaves & passionfruit - all to inspire me for nice juices. Skipped the fresh sourdough and raw vegan treats! Off to church and happy sucking on my bottle of lemon water. Home and not really feeling hungry so wasn't hard to make wraps for the family for lunch. Then off to shops for some delightful distraction. Was going to treat myself to a juice from a juice bar, but was too busy and didn't feel hungry enough - YAY! Home to prepare myself for dinner torture but I had decided to cook chicken in tomato sauce with pasta as it's not my fave thing. Worked a treat, and focussed on my lovely cherry juice/smoothee - banana, frozen cherries, spinach leaves & coconut water. Worked well! More water and didn't even need a hot herbal tea to tide me thru the night. Was a little headachey thru night so took some nurofen, hmmm.... I have a feeling the worse is still to come.....
Woke up feeling rather depressed at knowing there was another day ahead where I could not excitedly plan a day of fabulous food - humph! And it was gym day - could barely pull myself out of bed, felt very tired which is very unusual for me. Off to gym and altho the PT went easy on me, it hammered me. Kept drinking my water but was getting h-ache and feeling light-headed. Ick, home to lovely shower and panadol. The kids had friends coming round so while I was still feeling satiated from my morning juice (p'apple with vit c & probiotic powder) I got them involved in baking brownies (gf flour & sweetened with maple syrup & coconut palm sugar). I have to be in the mood to enjoy brownies but when they came out of the oven, they were so gooey and heavenly - AAAAAHHHHHHHH, it was hard, but I sucked back a small bottle of coconut water & blood orange juice, and just handed them all out to be eaten: RESULT - none leftover to be tempted by. Chatted all morning on the couch with a friend and sipped on a honey and chamomile tea.
Okay, so now it was lunch time and was really struggling to keep my mind off FOOD, really hard. Pulled out cruskits and made them up with avo, vegemite and grated cheese for the kids. Mmmmm..... cheese ........ cleaned up the scraps on the chopping board (in my mouth) and then got the kids into bed for naps before lying down with another headache - *sigh*. Babysitter over so popped out to Mrs Flannerys to stock up on other groceries. Water in arvo, and a couple of soy crisps. *Stop thinking about food, stop thinking about food.* The 2nd day really SUCKS! Sister over in arvo to stay night so in preparation for making dinner, I set about creating a delectable juice with the flesh of an orange, a peeled apple, a lemonade lemon, some filtered water and 2 passionfruit. Very refreshing and sipped it down before and after tea. Made mini meatballs out of some organic beef sausages with potato mash and honey carrots, and just popped some meatballs in as they cooked - I had to check they tasted OK, and I didn't even blink till later - another DOH! Lemon water rest of night.
The end is in sight. Some friends were coming for dinner that night so was going to end my fast by then. It was easier to refuse the coffee this morning - a small victory! Juice in morning again and started on preparing dinner - Apricot Chicken, smelt heavenly and did do a purposeful taste test before putting it in fridge till later. Then there was choc oat cookies that Wendy made with kids - yes, a taste-test ....... and then the apple crumble ....... no taste-test but was starting to think - what's the diff, I should just finish the fast now and be done with it, no matter. Nah, the guilt wasn't worth it, I decide to just keep suffering it out, as cheating as I was. Another headache again - more coffee withdrawal?? Off to pathology then with Bailey and glad to be out of house at lunch time. Then, some more lovely distracting shopping - nope, I will not have a coffee, I will just finish my water - *smile*. Another small victory.
Home, and those blasted cookies! *sigh* oh, well! Nearly did it. A small portion for dinner but really enjoyed that apple crumble after. And that's that!
I know the initial reaction from most people is "why bother, why make life harder than it has to be?" I really believe that fasting can be a great discipline of "refusing your fleshly desires" - sounds corny but in a lot of life we really need the whole "mind over matter" philosophy to succeed in not being tempted to do things we know aren't good for us. And this is a great excercise in that. However, my thinking went a bit further in that I was trying to put the focus on food further back in my mind, and bring to the forefront more important things like my relationship with my kids, and my relationship with God. I know it doesn't make sense as fasting seems to make you think about food MORE, but there are moments of clarity when you realise how freeing it is NOT to have to plan your food, not to have to waste time eating, but can focus on something else instead. It also helps to know that you don't need that much food to get through life - it can change your perception on how food-needy you are.
Sounds like I got a lot out of a measly 3 days, hey? This isn't the first time I've fasted and I have actually fasted for 3 days before so I have learnt a few things along the way. At the end of the fast I really was determined to start a regular 1 day a wk fast again. I initially did this when Bailey started at speech therapy, it was my way of focussing on praying for what was to come for him, and be really centred on Christ holding us up at a time when it was tough knowing how our boy was going to go with all this knew learning. It really was a blessing, and I miss that feeling of closer connection when sacrificing pleasurable things to be more centred on Him.
This was not a very spiritual fast - with school hols and keeping kids occupied etc I didn't get to spend much time in prayer as I hoped but there were moments of clarity and seeking God, and I did have a break through in that I got the chance to go into a kindy and talk over the possibility of Bailey starting there - very, very satisfying and a huge answer to prayer in providing me comfort in the next step I am to take with him. Thank you God!